Every two years, a new crop of freshmen descends on Washington and every two years, Roll Call follows one such member through their first year.
For the 2016 election, Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen was one of only several Democrats to unseat a House Republican. His story is similar to those of millions of Americans — his family came to the U.S. seeking a better life — but on Nov. 8, 2016, he became the first formerly undocumented person to be elected to Congress (along with New York Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat, who was elected the same day). Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Kihuen’s dreams of playing professional soccer were dashed by an untimely injury. It was then that he turned his attention to politics.
Here’s his first year, in photos:
Clarification: A previous version of this story misidentified how Kihuen became undocumented. He came to the U.S. on a legal visa and became undocumented when his family overstayed that visa, according to his office. The story has been updated.
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